Knobbly knees in competition with fingerprints

Jan 23, 2013

Forget digital fingerprints, iris recognition and voice identification, the next big thing in biometrics could be your knobbly knees. Just as a fingerprints and other body parts are unique to us as individuals and so can be used to prove who we are, so too are our kneecaps. Computer scientist Lior Shamir of Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan, has now demonstrated how a knee scan could be used to single us out.

The approach based on MRI could be used to quickly register and identify people in a moving queue as they approach passport control at airports for instance or as they walk through the entrance to an office block or other building.

Shamir has tested the approach and achieved accuracy of around 93 percent, this coupled with other factors such as possession of the correct passport, being in the right place at the right time or tied to other biometrics such as iris recognition and signature analysis could be used to prevent deception and fraud. Contact lenses can be used to dupe iris recognition systems, passports can be forged.

"Deceptive manipulation requires an invasive and complicated medical procedure, and therefore it is more resistant to spoofing compared to methods such as face, fingerprints, or iris," Shamir points out. It would be almost impossible to fake one's internal body parts including the kneecaps. Of course, kneecaps are a renowned of irreversible and deleterious adjustment in the criminal world, but even then shattered kneecaps are likely to be unique to the victim in any case.

MRI scanning avoids health risk of scanning with , such as X-rays, it would also avoid some of the privacy issues that have arisen with terahertz scanners that can "see" beneath a person's clothing, whereas MRI goes more than skin deep. There is a distinct problem with the implementation of MRI scanning in a security setting in that are very large machines and take a long time to acquire an image of even a small body part such as the kneecap. However, developments in MRI technology are fast moving and it is likely that within the medium term more portable and faster equipment will emerge that could fulfill the security role.

"Further studies will develop the concept of internal biometrics, and will lead to automatic identification methods that are highly resistant to spoofing," concludes Shamir.

Explore further: Japan orders air bag maker to conduct probe

More information: "MRI-based knee image for personal identification" in Int. J. Biometrics, 2013, 5, 113-125

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Knobbly kneed ID: Internal body parts and biometrics

Mar 25, 2009

Forget LED thumb-pad identification devices, complex retinal laser scanning, or even computerized iris recognition, the way forward for biometric validation is a quick X-ray snapshot of a person's knees, according to a report ...

Shifty, but secure eyes

Aug 29, 2012

A biometric security system based on how a user moves their eyes is being developed by technologists in Finland. Writing in the International Journal of Biometrics, the team explains how a person's saccades, their tiny, ...

Black Hat presentation shows iris-scanning breach

Jul 27, 2012

(Phys.org) -- A research team from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and West Virginia University have troubling findings for those who think iris scanning is one of the safest methods of biometric security. ...

New research raises questions about iris recognition systems

Jul 12, 2012

Since the early days of iris recognition technologies, it has been assumed that the iris was a "stable" biometric over a person's lifetime — "one enrollment for life." However, new research from University of Notre Dame ...

Research on avoiding fraud in biometric identification

Oct 25, 2010

Spanish scientists from Carlos III University of Madrid are analyzing possible attempts at fraud in various biometric identification systems in order to improve the security of facial, iris, fingerprint or ...

Tell me by the way I walk

Jun 09, 2008

Biometrics is commonly associated retinal scans, iris recognition and DNA databases, but researchers in India are working on another form of biometrics that could allow law enforcement agencies and airport security to recognize ...

Recommended for you

BlackBerry courts iPhone users with cash

9 hours ago

Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry is wooing Apple customers with a cash offer for trade-ins of iPhones for its new square-screened, keyboard-equipped Passport.

HP earnings show continued struggle

10 hours ago

Venerable tech giant Hewlett-Packard has been struggling for three years to turn its business around. Its latest earnings show it still has more work ahead.

UN moves to strengthen digital privacy (Update)

11 hours ago

The United Nations on Tuesday adopted a resolution on protecting digital privacy that for the first time urged governments to offer redress to citizens targeted by mass surveillance.

Spotify turns up volume as losses fall

11 hours ago

The world's biggest music streaming service, Spotify, announced Tuesday its revenue grew by 74 percent in 2013 while net losses shrank by one third, in a year of spectacular expansion.

Are electric cars greener? Depends on where you live

11 hours ago

Long thought a thing of the future, electric cars are becoming mainstream. Sales in the United States of plug-in, electric vehicles nearly doubled last year. Credible forecasts see the number rising within ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

MarkC
not rated yet Jan 23, 2013
Another negative it what the magnetic fields will do to your laptop hard drive.
soo
not rated yet Jan 24, 2013
Why not allow the user to supply whatever scan he chooses (knee, nose, tooth, toe, for id purposes. This together with a match-up existing in the server should do the trick, and we would not, then, have people's fingers being hacked off by hackers. No one needs to know what body part is your ID. Only if it matches what the user has submitted. And the user could switch it now and again.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.